About Me

I was born in San Jose, Ca at O'Connor Hospital. I was raised mostly in Cupertino, Ca. I attended Sedgwick Elementary School, Hyde Middle School and Cupertino HS.  In high school, an instructor named Jim Symons at Cupertino High School showed me a way to learn Math that made the subject very clear and useful. After graduating from High School, I attended UCLA. It was only in my junior year that I switched to major in Applied Math and Economics. Between undergraduate and graduate school I worked at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica Ca.  I had worked for two UCLA professors who paved the way for my employment at RAND, since most RAND employees had PhDs from prominent universities. That was the beginning of amazing opportunities to come.

My work at RAND started in nuclear defense during the Strategic Defense Initiative. Since that was not of great interest to me, I branched out into other areas. By teaching myself to program in "C" and "Lisp" and learning about radar and guidance systems, I leveraged myself into other areas. By then I had proven myself as a hard worker who got the job done. At many times this meant late nights and weekend hours. However, it was that first RAND experience that led to additional work opportunities with top scientist in their field of study.

I ventured into research in education, environmental issues (salinity levels in the Chesapeake Bay), protecting sensitive data at the U.S. Census Bureau and Genetics (National Institute of Health). When I recognized David Watson (who directed the Genome Project at that time), I introduced myself while riding up to the lab in the elevator.

After three years working at the RAND Corporation, I returned to graduate school. The RAND corporation offered me flexible part-time hours and financial assistance. I entered the PhD program in Applied Math at, the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park, Md. During that program, I began teaching. At UMD, some teaching assistance (those that ran smaller group sections for a professor), were chosen to teach full undergraduate math courses since the demand outweighed the number of professors. At UMD, I mostly taught Probability and Statistics since it came easy to me with all the real-work experience I had accumulated.

I have been teaching for over 27 years. I continue to research new ways to teach Math and Statistics to reach more students. My goal is to build endurable understandings that easily allow others to apply concepts to their real lives. Since I know some people have anxiety just entering a Math class, I attempt to create a comfortable, respectful learning environment where everyone feels more at ease.  Sometimes it is just sharing the ways I taught myself new subjects.  Other times, it is me sharing my current life ‘ups and downs”, so that they know the classroom is comprised of all of us, just with the common goal of learning. 

It is my hope that we can offer diverse nontraditional learning opportunities in Mathematics.  Since I am an applied mathematician grounded in probability and statistics, I believe everyone can learn how to apply numerical concepts to important decision making.  I hope to see you in one of my courses!

Classes I Teach

Fall 2019

01509MATH 108Introductory Statistics
20340MATH 427Precalculus II: Trigonometric Functions
25442MATH 10911Intermediate Algebra for Statistics

Faculty Info

Lenore Desilets
Full-time Faculty






BS Applied Math UCLA; MS Applied Math (Operations Research/Statistics) University of Maryland, College Park Campus 1991

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